For insight into why greens oppose the cash-for-clunkers program — even though it would reduce tailpipe emissions — read this op-ed by Gwen Ottinger in today’s Washington Post.
Here’s an excerpt:
First, even when new cars and appliances are more efficient than the ones they replace, the act of replacing them entails environmental costs not accounted for in the stimulus programs. Building a new car, washing machine or refrigerator takes energy and resources: The manufacture of steel, aluminum and plastics are energy-intensive processes, and some of the materials used in durable goods, especially plastics, use non-renewable fossil fuels as feedstocks as well as energy sources. Disposing of old products, a step required by most incentive and rebate programs, also has environmental costs: It takes additional energy to shred and recycle metals; plastic components often cannot be recycled and end up as landfill cover; and the engine fluids, refrigerants and other chemicals essential to operating products end up as hazardous wastes.
Cash-for-clunkers, you see, just breeds new/more consumption — and consumption is evil.
Take home message: Stop consuming. Start Decomposing.